Matthew Cull shares his bike adventure in Vail | VailDaily.com
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Matthew Cull shares his bike adventure in Vail

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyMatthew Cull, a photographer, has undertaken a number of bike treks since 1984, and experienced six different continents by bike.
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VAIL, Colorado ” Matthew Cull’s Himalayan adventure was filled with stunning scenery, ranging from hostile desert to tropical rainforests and alpine timberline to Tibetan plateau grasslands, as well as demanding physical challenges of vertical assents and infernally hot temperatures. Tonight at 6 p.m. at Donovan Pavilion, Cull will share a narrative and slide show of his cycling experience that took him on a 5,000 kilometer solo-trek across the Himalayas through China, Tibet, Nepal and India as a part of the Unlimited Adventure Series. Everyone in attendance will be eligible to win special giveaways from Beaver Divers.

Cull, a photographer, has undertaken a number of bike treks since 1984, and experienced six different continents by bike. The Himalayan journey was simply a continuation of his global quest.

“A bicycle is the foremost vehicle of travel to experience a place,” Cull said. While Cull concedes that traveling by foot would be the next-best route, he loves the ability to cover significant distances on his bike. “It allows you to get completely immersed with the environment and the people without the intrusion of metal or glass or speed.”

Cull began his four-and-a-half month Himalayan cycling journey in 2006 on the eastern part of the Himalayas, commencing in Dali, China and cycling west, parallel to the mountain range through Tibet, Nepal and India, before stopping in Kargil at the India-Pakistan cease-fire line, only 150 km short of the western-most edge of the Himalayas. Much of the journey was illegal by Chinese government standards; as such travel would require a permit which would never be issued for unguided, unaccompanied, individual bicycle travel. After traveling through primarily Buddhist and Hindu cultural areas, Cull described Kargil as an appropriate stopping place for the trek.

“Reaching the Muslim area at the ceasefire line between Pakistan and India gave me a sense of closure,” Cull said.

Cull has spent the last 8 winters in Vail, planning summer bike treks. While he does some logistical research to familiarize himself with the area’s food, water and military checkpoints, Cull designs all of his bike treks without the aid of any other guides or travelers.

Adventuring solo is something that he never tires of.

“Honestly, not many others want to do these long treks. The complete freedom of traveling alone ” without making any compromises ” is liberating. The physical challenge teaches me about my own abilities,” he said.


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